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Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

Marketing Intern | Shield HealthCare
01/25/18  4:01 PM PST
Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

If you are concerned about whether you or a loved one might be having a heart attack, never wait to get help – particularly if you are experiencing discomfort. Most heart attacks start slowly with mild pain or even only slight discomfort, however some heart attacks are sudden and intense. Pay close attention to your body and call 911 and seek medical assistance immediately when experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack.

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Early Symptoms:

  • Mild pain/discomfort in your chest that may come and go
  • Pain in your shoulders, jaw or neck
  • Cold sweats
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Feeling of breathlessness or loss of breath
  • Feeling of impending doom
  • Severe anxiety and/or confusion

Symptoms can vary between women and men. For both men and women, the most common heart attack symptoms are chest pain and other discomfort throughout the body. However, women are more likely than men to experience other symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea, and/or vomiting.

Women’s Symptoms

  • Unusual fatigue that lasts for several days or sudden fatigue
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble catching your breath
  • Jaw pain or pain that travels from your body to your jaw
  • Indigestion or gas-like pain
  • Pressure and pain that is in the center of your chest; may spread to your arm

Women who are going through menopause or who are over the age of fifty may experience additional symptoms, including:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Pain and discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw and stomach
  • A rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Sweating

Men’s Symptoms

  • Chest pain; feels like an elephant is sitting on your chest
  • Squeezing sensation that either comes and goes or may remain intense and constant
  • Upper body pain/discomfort
  • Stomach pains feel like indigestion
  • Shortness of breath; may make you feel like you aren’t getting enough air even when at rest
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or feeling like you are going to pass out
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat

Silent Heart Attacks

Another type of heart attack is the “silent heart attack.” It is the same as any other, except it occurs without normal symptoms. One may not even know they’ve experienced or are experiencing a heart attack. These silent attacks are more common with those who have diabetes or who have had heart attacks in the past.

Silent Heart Attack Symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Heartburn
  • Clamminess
  • Mild discomfort in chest/pain in jaw; goes away after resting
  • Shortness of breath and tiring more easily
  • Disturbed sleep and increased fatigue


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